I’m an adventure token!
But really, consider that your fair warning if you ever decide to travel with me. What can I say? What can go wrong always seems to go wrong.
For instance a couple of weekends ago, I was planning the most spectacular weekend reunion with my favorite college roommates when on my way home from work Friday my car starts making a noise in which it sounds like it’s going to explode any moment. I get home and decide to take things into my own hands, since none of the people who I thought would be good at cars were answering my texts. I carefully lift the hood of my car and walk around it in my jeans and high heels (it was Casual Friday at work) until I finally find out that the heat shield underneath my car is loose and that’s where all the noise is coming from. When I figure out that my car wasn’t going to explode, I drove it like that for a whole week and half and basically got used to the sound. Hmm…I kind of miss it.
Or there was the mess of my first Spring Break in 5 years where I planned to fly to Louisville and ended up stuck in Hartford, Connecticut for TWO DAYS. So what? I made the best of it and I eventually made it to Louisville. And my trip home was seamless.
I’m used to it. Which is why I handled my newest misadventure with style and grace. I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference for work in Orlando, Florida. I’m finally comfortable flying alone but was happy to have the company of a coworker. We had layover in Atlanta on the way down, which was about an hour and a half long. We had just enough time to make it to our second flight on the way to Orlando. We weren’t so lucky coming home…
Our flight was set to leave Orlando at 7:39 p.m., we had a 47 minute layover in Atlanta (not our choice — work didn’t give us many flight options to work with) and we were supposed to arrive in Richmond at 11:39 p.m. Not ideal but I was looking forward to getting home to my bed. It was storming in Orlando as I’m told it does on most summer afternoons. That’s when they delay our first flight. Then they switch the gate we are leaving out of. I’m starting to freak out because our already 47-minute layover is getting shorter and shorter.
After a ton of standing, we finally board at about 8 p.m. and leave Orlando around 8:30. It’s a bumpy flight as the weather isn’t the greatest and I’m watching on the monitor on the seat backs as we approach Atlanta. And I’m looking at my watch. It’s about 9:45 when we finally land and our flight out of Atlanta leaves at 10:05. I look back to my coworker and tell her, “Dee, there’s a good possibility we’re not making this flight.” We are then told we are flying into Concourse T instead of Concourse A, which is where we were supposed to land and our next flight takes off from.
As we wait to deplane, everyone on the plane is antsy. The pilot asks the passengers to raise their hands if they have a connecting flight within the next 30 minutes so those people can deplane first. Ninety percent of the passengers raise their hands. I ask the guy next to me if he’s familiar with the Atlanta airport and explain my situation. “What are the chances of me making my next flight?” He says, “It’s going to be tight.”
We finally get off the plane, I find my coworker, and we find the first person who appears to work at the airport. “Excuse me, where can we find Concourse A?”
Their answer (I kid you not): “Go down this hall, through the double glass doors, down the escalator, get on the train, over the river and through the woods.”
Okay so I kid a little bit but most of that was the true answer. My response: “That’s a stupid place to put a concourse.” Nonetheless we start sprinting in the direction they pointed us in, all while I am carrying my two carry-ons because I simply don’t like being without my stuff (Spoiler: This comes in handy later).
We catch our breath on the train because you can’t really make that part of the journey go any faster. Once we get off and wish the other travelers good luck, it’s go time. I’m looking for one thing: Gate A33.
We finally find the gates, which I believe we had to either go up or down an escalator to get to and I finally see the sign telling us to turn right for Gates A16-34. I start praying in the moment, please start with Gate 34. I turn the corner…
A16. That’s when we start sprinting. Again. Because you know, A33 is all the way at the end and it’s looking pretty empty down there.
We get there right at 10:05 and the door is closed. The plane has been boarded and we’ve been left in Atlanta.
It turns out our flight to Richmond left a couple of minutes early and we are 2 of about 5 people who are now stranded in Atlanta as that was the last flight to Richmond for the night. Luckily for me, getting left in airports is what I do best. We got re-booked and a (sketchy) hotel for the night and I stayed just as positive because, hey at least I now have a good story to tell.
Long Story Short: I get left in airports a lot it seems. But I find my sense of adventure every time.